THIRD CAMPAIGN OF SENNACHERIB
Translated from Rykle Borger, Babylonisch-assyrische Lesestücke (2d ed.; Analecta Orientalia 54; 2 vols.; Rome: Pontificium Institutum Biblicum, 1979), 1:68, 73-75.
Column I 1-19
(I am) Sennacherib, great king, mighty king, king of the inhabited world, king of the land of Aššur, king of the four world quadrants, intelligent (and) wise shepherd, favorite of the great gods; who protects truth, who loves justice, who gives help, who comes to the aid of the powerless, seeking good will; perfect man, heroic man, foremost among all kings, the bridle that controls the non-submissive, who strikes the enemy with lightning. The divine Aššur, great mountain, granted to me a kingly status that has no equal. He made my weapons invincible over all those who inhabit palaces as far as the upper sea of the west unto the lower sea of the east. He has prostrated at my feet the totality of the ‘black-headed people.’ Powerful kings fear my assault: they abandon their communities like a crevice-bat (would); they fly off alone to a place where one cannot go.
Column II 37-III 49
In my third campaign I marched to the land of Hatti (i.e., Syria and the Levant). Fearful awe at the luster of my majesty overwhelmed Luli, king of Sidon: he fled for a great distance toward the center of the sea (and) disappeared forever. (As for) his strong cities of great Sidon and lesser Sidon, Bit-zitti, Sariptu, Mahalliba, Ušu, Akzib, and Akku, (all) fortresses (and) places of pasturage and watering for his support-bases, dread of the weapon of Aššur my lord overwhelmed them, and they bowed at my feet. I installed Tubalu upon the royal throne over them and fixed upon him a tribute (in recognition of) my lordship, to be paid annually in perpetuity.
Minhim of the city of Samsimurum, Tubal the Sidonite, Abdiliti the Arudite, Urmilki the Gublaite, Mitinti the Ashdodite, Purduilu the Ammonite, Kammusunadbi the Moabite, Ayarammu the Edomite—all of whom were kings of Syria—brought before me numerous gifts and their heavy tribute and kissed my feet for the fourth time. But Sidqa, king of Ashkelon, who did not submit to my yoke, I tore away the gods of his father’s house, himself, his wife, his sons, his daughters, his brothers, (and) his entire lineage and conducted them to the land of Assyria. I installed Šarru-lu-dari, son of their former king Rukibtu, (as ruler) over the people of Ashkelon and imposed upon him the submission of tribute-gifts to my lordship; he (now) bears my yoke.
During the course of my campaign, I besieged the cities of Sidqa—Beth Dagon, Joppa, Bene-Baraq, and Azur—which did not speedily bow down to my feet. I conquered (them and) accumulated their spoil. The governors, nobility, and people of Ekron who had thrown iron fetters upon Padi their king, an ally and sworn vassal of the land of Assyria, and surrendered him as an enemy to Hezekiah of the land of the Judaeans were terrified at the outrage they had committed, and they sent to the kings of the land of Egypt for help. Soldiers armed with bows, chariots, and horses—an innumerable strong force—of the king of Ethiopia came to their aid. They fixed a battle-line in the neighborhood of Altaqu before me and sharpened their weapons. Trusting in the divine Aššur my lord, I engaged in battle with them and brought about their defeat. My own hands captured alive the charioteers and the sons of the king of Egypt, along with the charioteers of the king of Ethiopia. I besieged and conquered the cities of Altaqu and Tamna and accumulated their spoil. I drew near to Ekron and executed the officials and nobles who mistakenly plotted (against me); I hung their corpses upon the watchtowers encircling their city. The city inhabitants who had behaved sinfully and irresponsibly I counted as spoil. As for the rest of them, those who did not bear sin or hostility and who had no guilt, I proclaimed their freedom. I brought out Padi their king from within Jerusalem and reinstalled him upon the throne of lordship over them, and fixed upon him tribute for my lordship.
But (regarding) Hezekiah the Judaean, the one who did not bow down beneath my yoke, I besieged and I conquered forty-six strong cities (that were) fortresses and the smaller nameless cities in their vicinity using firmly treaded siege-ramps, the storming of battering-rams, attacks of infantry, breaches, tunnels, and sappers. I brought out 200,150 people, young and old, male and female, as well as innumerable horses, mules, donkeys, camels, and sheep, and I tabulated them as spoil. As for him (i.e., Hezekiah), I locked him up within Jerusalem, his royal city, like a bird in a cage. I laid down earthen entrenchments around him, and whoever came forth from the gate of his city I made feel disgust for him. I tore away his cities from his territory and despoiled them, and handed them over to Mitinti, king of Ashdod, Padi, king of Ekron, and Sili-Bel, king of Gaza. I thus diminished his territory. His annual tribute was made more than the previous tribute; I added and laid upon him tribute and gifts reflective of my sovereignty (over him). As for Hezekiah, terror at the awesome luster of my majesty overcame him. The urbi-warriors and elite troops whom he had made enter Jerusalem his royal city in order to strengthen it refused to do battle (?). He sent them later to me at Nineveh, the city of my lordship, along with thirty talents of gold, eight hundred talents of silver, choice antimony-paste, small pieces of stone, large …-stones, ivory beds, chairs with arms of ivory, elephant skins, raw ivory, ‘dark wood,’ boxwood, every kind of valuable treasure that bears a name, together with his daughters, his palace-women, male musicians, and female musicians. He sent his legation (to me) to deliver the tribute and offer slavish obedience.